User story maps visualize the journey people take as they interact with your team. That journey could be an experience of your product, your marketing collateral, your professional services, or any other work that offers value to your customers.
Once you've completed a user story map, use it to inform your strategic plans. Analyze the steps to make sure you are delivering the right value at the right time, then add work to any step that needs improving. You can organize and prioritize work items within each step.
Note: In this article, we will use product terminology for Aha! record types — features, master features and releases — but depending on the workspace type where you add user story maps, you may also refer to these records as activities, master activities, and schedules.
Click any of the following links to skip ahead:
- Create a user story map
- Customize a user story map
- Associate a user story map with a persona
- Record links
- Working with user story maps
- Share your user story map
Create a user story map
User story maps are enabled by default in all workspaces. If you customized your navigation, you will need to enable user story maps at Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Navigation. You must have owner or contributor permissions to create and edit user story maps.
To create a user story map:
- Navigate to Features > User story map.
- Click the Add user story map button to create a new map.
- Give the user story map a name by clicking on the title. This will open the map’s drawer where you can edit the title.
Customize a user story map
Once you have created your story map, you can start adding the steps and records that represent the technical and/or non-technical work that must be completed to improve the experience at each step.
To add new records to a user story map:
- Add steps to your user story map by hovering over the first horizontal swimlane at the top of the screen. Click the + Add step button that appears. Begin typing to name the step.
- Add master features by hovering over the second horizontal swimlane and clicking + Add master feature.
Note: When you add a master feature to a user story map, the Master features setting will be automatically enabled for your workspace.
- Add features by hovering over the grey work area located on the lower half of the page and select the Add feature button. Begin typing to name the new record. Any features that are dragged into a column beneath a master feature will be assigned to the master feature. If you move a feature out of the column beneath a master feature, it will be disassociated from the master feature.
- Releases can be added by hovering on the space between features and then clicking on the Add release button.
Note: Newly created features are assigned to the release shown on the story map. When you first create a story map where there are no releases yet, features will be automatically assigned to the left-most parking lot on the features board (or activities board) for the workspace where the story map resides.
To add, update, or remove existing records from a user story map:
- Use the Add existing records right sidebar to select the existing records that you would like to add. You can choose from records that exist in the workspace where the user story map resides. Tip: Select a parking lot release to organize features that are not yet ready to be prioritized into a release . Parking lots will appear at the bottom of the map.
- For master features, master activities, features or activities, click a record's ID number to open the detail drawer for that record.
- There are two ways to remove records from the map:
- Choose the More options button that appears in the top-right corner of each record on the map. Then select the Remove from map option.
- From the Add existing records sidebar, deselect a record to remove it from the map.
Note: Removing a record from the map does not delete the record. To delete a record, click the More details button on the record, then choose Edit. You can delete the record from the More details button in the record details drawer. If you remove a release from a user story map and would like to add it back, you need to re-add the features .
Associate a user story map with a persona
User story maps by definition have a user in mind — so it often makes sense to associate your user story map with a persona. Persona profiles let you build out details of your users, their likes, dislikes, backgrounds and goals.
You can associate multiple personas with the same user story map, or create a separate user story map for each of your personas. The Personas filter at the top of the page will keep you organized.
To associate a user story map with a persona, click the top row of the user story map to open the user story map detail drawer.
In the detail drawer, use the Personas field to select as many personas as you think apply to this user story map.
When you create a new record or add an existing record to a user story map, Aha! will automatically establish a link between the record and the user story map. You can view these links in the Record links section of the record details. Any records linked to user story maps will be labeled in this format: Is contained by + [User story map name].
Working with user story maps
The View all user story maps collapsible sidebar on the left side of the screen is used to manage the user story maps that you have created within your workspace.
To change the colors of the cards that appear on a story map, click the settings button to color the cards by Status or Type.
- Status: The cards will appear in the colors that are set at Account > Configure statuses and workflows and assigned to your workspace.
- Type: A set of default colors will be used on the map for each record type.
To add/remove a new column or row to the story map:
- To modify columns, hover over the top of the column and click the More details button . From there, you can choose from Insert column left, Insert column right, or Delete column. Only empty columns can be deleted.
- To add a new row or column, drag a record into the space between records and hold until a blue line appears. Drop the record onto the line to create a new row or column.
- To remove a row, remove everything from the row and make the empty row the bottom-most row in your work area.
Note: Several blank rows will always appear at the bottom of a release to help you quickly add more features. Since they don't have any data in them, you cannot delete them.
To move a group of features that are associated with a master feature, drag the master feature to a new column and all of the associated features will move as a group.
To delete a user story map, select the More details button in the upper-right corner of the page and choose Delete map. This will not delete the records that are contained within the map — only the map itself.
Share your user story map
Use the Share menu button in the top-right corner of the page to export your user story map as an image or PDF. You can also add and share your user story map as an Aha! presentation using the Add to presentation option.